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Ingraham On Milestone

Published: November 4, 2009 1:41 pm ET

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If you were to meet David Ingraham on the street, the last thing you would think about is that the man has won 6,000 harness races.

He stands five-feet six inches and weighs 165 pounds soaking wet, but the native of Waterville, Maine, who will turn 48 at the end of the month, may be the most unassuming yet successful driver in the sport today.

“He is the consummate professional,” Pompano Park’s leading driver, Bruce Ranger, who has won more than 7,500 races himself, said. “He has paid his dues, raced wherever, and he knows how to drive a horse and is a pleasure to drive with and against.”

Ingraham, drawn into the sport by an uncle who owned horses in his native Maine, has earned the respect of fellow horsemen wherever he has raced.

“A professional in every sense of the word,” said Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey. “There is a comfort level on the track when he is in a race because you know he knows what he is doing.”

It was on October 31 that Ingraham, who shuttles between New England in the summer and South Florida in the fall/winter/spring, scored his milestone victory. He drove the Anthony Simpson-trained Henrytheeighthiam to a 1:57.1 victory in a conditioned race at Pompano Park.

“Did I ever think I would [win] 6,000 races,” he said. “Absolutely not. I have just been trying to make a living.”

He scored his first victory in 1981. He has won at least 100 races every year since 1994, except one.

But his biggest victory came in the 1995 Cane Pace at Yonkers Raceway, when he drove Mattgilla Gorilla to victory. Ironically, he credits Hennessey for his win.

“Wally opted off the horse. He had Sire Stake commitments at Batavia that night. I was lucky to get the opportunity.”


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